The Arkansas Citizens First Congress appreciates the Governor and General Assembly being willing to step back and realize the flaws and discrimination contained in HB1228.
While we don’t believe Arkansas needs any new legislation to protect religious freedom, SB975, mirroring the federal RFRA is a better option than HB1228, and could be made even stronger by adding a nondiscrimination clause. We can not afford to return to the dark days of discrimination that HB1228 would bring.
“Lawmakers should make sure that no one in Arkansas can lose their job or be denied opportunity because of who they are or who they love,” says CFC Co-Chair William El-Amin. “We hope the passion generated by this bill will propel Arkansas into a full discussion about discrimination in our state.”
Let’s have an honest conversation that is informed with the data and stories that show all of the barriers different groups of Arkansans face to achieve opportunity and the American dream. Let's move forward and create more opportunity, not try to take someone else's!
The statement by our US Senator Tom Cotton illustrates the hatred and intolerance Arkansas law must protect against. His statement that protecting Arkansans from discrimination is not a credible priority for our state and that people who are gay should feel lucky they are not hanged is dangerous and offensive. Senator Cotton’s extremism is in sharp contrast to the bipartisan effort in the Arkansas legislature to arrive at a compromise that will work for Arkansas. We are ALL Arkansans and we need to keep DC polarized politics out of Arkansas where bipartisan cooperation on important issues is still possible.